Macaroons to swoon over, sweet treats that speak your language, a crème brûlée that’s definitely worth leaving home for… master baker Kyle Hickman is the (relatively) new Head Pâtissier at the prestigious One&Only Cape Town and, together with his talented team, he creates deliciously addictive treats that are the talk of the town.
Hickman joined One&Only Cape Town in 2013 as a sous chef, working under renowned chocolatier and pastry chef René Simatos. He says: “When I was presented with the prospect of working in what is considered to be one of the top hotels in South Africa under one of the best pastry chefs around, I didn’t have to think twice.” Two years on and this talented 27-year old has made great strides in the kitchen, resulting in his recent promotion.
He exudes a passion for baking and brings a wealth of creativity and ingenuity to the position, fusing a love for classic French desserts, pastries and fancies with a contemporary approach. “I’m a firm believer in knowing and executing the basics well. These fundamentals include a range of pastry items. If understood well, a good pastry chef can branch off these classics to create something that is easily recognisable, but at the same time, different and unexpected.”
For example, the new menu has a classic crème brûlée flavoured with Frangelico, “and instead of the usual caramelised sugar, we have used a pulled sugar Nachtmusik dentelle for texture and colour,” says Hickman. “This is paired with aerated hazelnut chocolate rocks, raspberry Parisian gums, caramel liquid and white chocolate raspberry ice cream.” Holding back clearly isn’t in this talented chef’s nature.
Hickman leads a team of 16, who work tirelessly around the clock to produce baked goods for the afternoon tea buffet table and the Vista Lounge and Bar. They also whip up desserts for Reuben’s One&Only, in-room fancies and banquets. “I believe in giving them enough freedom to allow their individual creativity to develop, but also providing accurate guidance to lead them in the right direction.”
If your waistline miraculously begins to expand after a visit to One&Only Cape Town, Hickman may be to blame. We’re certain you’ll soon be back for more, though.